Other Names:
Old boy networks
Political placemen

Cronyism is the practice of partiality in awarding jobs and other advantages to friends or trusted colleagues, especially in politics and between politicians and supportive organizations. For instance, this includes appointing "cronies" to positions of authority, regardless of their qualifications; this is in contrast to meritocracy, in which appointments are made purely on qualification.

Cronyism exists when the appointer and the beneficiary (such as an appointee) are in social or business contact. Often, the appointer needs support in their own proposal, job or position of authority, and for this reason the appointer appoints individuals who will not try to weaken their proposals, vote against issues, or express views contrary to those of the appointer.

Politically, "cronyism" is derogatorily used to imply buying and selling favors, such as: votes in legislative bodies, as doing favors to organizations, giving desirable ambassadorships to exotic places, etc. Whereas cronyism refers to partiality to a partner or friend, nepotism is the granting of favour to relatives.

Media coverage of President Clinton in the USA stressed the extent to which he relied on "Friends of Bill" many of whom were duly hired as White House aides. The Whitewater scandal concerning his earlier financial and political arrangements in Arkansas noted the extent to which state politics there was characterized by cozy relationships between politics and business.
Narrower Problems:
Legislative favouritism
Networking cronies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
01.01.2000 – 00:00 CET